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Maker(s):Unknown
Culture:Egyptian
Title:Pair of shell bracelets
Date Made:1570-1185 BCE (New Kingdom, Dynasties 18-19)
Type:Adornment
Materials:Cowrie shells
Place Made:Africa; Egypt; Abydos
Accession Number:  MH 1911.25a-b.A.M
Credit Line:Gift of the Egypt Exploration Fund
Museum Collection:  Mount Holyoke College Art Museum
mh_1911_25a_b_a_m_v1.jpg

Description:
Two bracelets, each composed of 14 cowrie shells strung end to end in a circle. Cowrie shells were used in Egypt for bracelets, anklets, and decorative girdles worn around the hips. Modern stringing.

Label Text:
According to ancient Egyptian belief, the body was required for use in the afterlife and every effort was taken to preserve it. After mummification, bodies were placed in rectangular or human-shaped coffins that sometimes had inlaid eyes. Coffins were often brightly painted, as is shown by the fragments with floral garlands and the sheltering wing of a deity. A winged scarab amulet sewn onto the mummy wrappings over the heart ensured the individual’s success at the time of judgment and, in later periods, bead netting covered the bandages. The dead frequently wore jewelry, including bracelets of cowrie shells, ivory, or other materials.

2016

Tags:
ancient; archaeology; jewelry; fashion; costume

Link to share this object record:
https://museums.fivecolleges.edu/detail.php?t=objects&type=ext&id_number=MH+1911.25a-b.A.M

Research on objects in the collections, including provenance, is ongoing and may be incomplete. If you have additional information or would like to learn more about a particular object, please email fc-museums-web@fivecolleges.edu.

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